Carlos Anaya told deputies 53-year-old Anastacio Hernandez Cabrera was always there for him whenever he needed help.
Cabrera gave him food. Provided him with a place to stay. He did anything for him.
"Why would I do that to him?" court documents say Anaya told deputies.
The "that" referred to by Anaya is the slicing of Cabrera's throat and leaving him to bleed in a dirt field.
Anaya, 21, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Cabrera's death. He's being held on $1 million bail.
According to recently released court documents, deputies were dispatched the afternoon of Jan. 16 to Poplar Avenue west of San Diego Street in Shafter to a report of a fight between two field workers.
Deputies were directed to where Cabrera was lying on the ground, bleeding profusely, as a man pressed a bandanna against his throat, the documents say. His breathing shallow and his pulse weak, Cabrera clutched a curved knife in his hand.
He was taken to a local hospital, where he died the next morning.
A man who operates a labor contracting company for field workers told deputies he picked up Cabrera and another man whose name he didn't know the morning of Jan. 16. Cabrera had called him and said they both needed work for the day.
The man — whose name is redacted from the documents — provided a description of the man who was with Cabrera, as did others who were working those fields that day. A woman said during a break Cabrera and the other man went to the south end of the field near a pistachio orchard.
She told investigators she didn't know why the two men went off alone; everyone else was in the northern end of the field.
Bloody clothing and bloodstained pruning clippers were found in the field, according to the documents.
Detectives arrested Anaya Jan. 17 at The Mission at Kern County, where he'd been given a ride by a man who'd found him wandering around, according to the documents. He'd told that man he was lost but needed help, the documents say, and that he had used drugs the day before.
A person at the mission contacted investigators upon speaking with Anaya and believing he was the suspect they were looking for, the documents say.
In 2016, Anaya pleaded no contest to assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm for stabbing his father. Charges including attempted murder were dismissed under the plea agreement, and he was sentenced to a year in jail.
The father told investigators Anaya stabbed him because he refused to give him money to buy drugs, court documents say.
He's next due in court Tuesday.